Sunday, August 02, 2009

TF Torrance's "Trinitarian Faith" - Just how good a book is it?

So, the other day I was online chatting with someone and it occurred to me, as it sometimes does, to recommend T.F. Torrance's work to them. His Warfield lectures, published as The Trinitarian Faith, was the volume I thought would be most appealing, so I surfed over to everyone's favorite online bookstore to track it down and send the link to my chat correspondent. Imagine my surprise when I saw the following!



This book is a good compendium of Torrance's mature theology, and it would be interesting for anyone who is interested in doing contemporary theology in conversation with patristic theology. I have read this book. I own this book. But I did not pay $107 for this book (in all fairness, our book-selling friends do seem to be cutting you a $63 deal compared to the current retail!). I think that I paid something like $35 or $40. So, I ask you - my fair-minded readership - how is it that a book can inflate in price this much? It's a paperback, for crying out loud! The profit from selling this book at this price must be at least 2x or 3x the production price, and possible more like 5x or 6x (I'm just guessing here). This is simply confirmation of something that a number of us have suspected for a while - there is something terribly wrong with the theological publishing world.

4 comments:

cruciality said...

This is classic TF, and the first of TF's books that I ever read. I recall that I picked up my (hardcover) copy for less than AU$10. I agree that there is much wrong with the theological publishing world, but surely Amazon's US$107 price tag has got little - if anything - to do with it.

A quick search yielded that AbeBooks is selling it new for US$54.45.

Bobby Grow said...

I agree Travis, I've had a similar problem with one of TFT's other books: Scottish Theology. I think this is an excellent intro to how TFT has assimilated some of the Scottish Reformation themes into his own theological construction; yet the price is prohibitive ($90 new)--- which makes recommending it to anyone a non-option. The only way I was able to read it is because my alma mater's library carries it.

There definitely is something wrong with the theo-publishing world.

WTM said...

I don't intend to pick on Amazon, especially since they are providing such a discount!

Anonymous said...

ditto Bobby Grow - in order to get my hands on "Scottish Theology" my pastor purchased it for our Church library...90$, rediculous!